In an interview in the Sunday Herald Sun, November 27, 2005 Heath Ledger spoke about the birth of his daughter Matilda saying, ‘Witnessing this innate, primal strength and determination that’s injected into women when they have to push out that baby is just the most spectacular thing ever. I definitely walked away feeling that as men, over time we have over-compensated for our lack of strength and, witnessing this intimidating experience of women just being that much stronger than we are, we’ve gone out and created battles and wars and taken steroids and gone to the gym. So I happily relinquish power to her because, you know, I am not about to go out and create a war.’
The modern man doesn’t need to go to war in compensation to the awesome capacity women have to create life. We have learnt that we can create beautiful things in this world and that includes our role as father. In fact as men, we love to create striking designs and build things as an expression of our lasting input into the world. This practical application of our creative energy is appreciated by other men, and society in general.
Our capacity to design and build bridges, road systems, office buildings, and housing estates contributes to the aesthetics of our communities. These are things we can take pride in, as they are innovative and visionary. Likewise, being able to mend, fix, and repair physical structures requires us to use our creative and intellectual abilities. But it can also be in fun activities with our children that we can utilise our design and building skills. Summer holidays building sand castles are fun memories for many of us.
Creativity is immersed in everything we do. Our everyday tasks provide us with an opportunity to infuse our personality types into our dealings with others and physical structures. Many of us are enjoying taking over the kitchen and using cooking as a creative expression of who we are. Our wine collection and how we display it is creative. Some enjoy the garden and creating a beautiful layout of colour and design. Working with wood is a deeply masculine activity that allows us to express ourselves. The ways we decorate our homes displays our presence in the space and who we are.
The ways in which we use our bodies is an expression of our creative use of space and ourselves. Music, dance, listening to songs, playing an instrument, writing lyrics and music, singing, and connecting to rhythm through our bodies, and with our bodies, is incredibly creative. These activities bring our hearts, spirit, and soul together in a profound way. Our capacity to find flow in our daily lives and work in a manner that respects our energy nature is a never ending lesson as a man. There is a great splendour in sports where the motions of the body express a beautiful choreography of movement.
Hobbies are a source of creativity from collecting stamps to model cars, trains or aeroplanes to vintage cars, tractors and machinery. What we collect and how we coordinate them, store them, and display them all draws on our creative side. Participating in classes to learn to paint, draw, calligraphy and other artistic endeavours are also important. This provides structured time in our lives to foster our creativity.
Our ability to write and the desire to write a book or document our family history is a great passion that also continues our family story to future generations. Our love of animals and how we relate to them, share with them, and talk to them is part of our expression of our creative natures.
How we generally communicate is also creative. Our ability to use our knowledge to help others is part of expressing ourselves creatively because problem solving requires humour and lateral thinking to be effective. But it is more than that. The topics we talk about, the breadth of knowledge to converse with diverse people, and our ability to communicate ideas to large numbers of people all reflect our creative use of language.
Working with others on boards and in leadership roles requires us to use our creative side. For the most part, we believe that men like to spend time with other men who are active and creative. It seems pointless to just sit around talking and having coffee. Sometimes there is a place for this, but as men we like to do things together; that’s how we bond.
The way we dress, our hairstyles, or the types of aftershave we wear provides us with an opportunity to show how we are different to other men. For some of us, doing something different that is against the norm is important. Sometimes we just want to do something unexpected or radically different in a day to shift expectations and ideas about what is typical. Exploring colour and shapes in clothing provides insights to the world we never expect. Artworks, photography, film, ideas, and images are all ways to push the boundaries and expand our minds and bodies.
For some of us, we savour our creativity for our partners where we can explore our nature and satisfy our curiosity through intimacy. Romance provides us with an array of ways to express ourselves and open up to our softer side. It includes buying flowers and chocolates but also, in how we present them or the creative adventures we take partners on to find their surprises. Simply having holidays together where we can plan unexpected activities or romantic dinners gives us great pleasure to extend ourselves to another in a safe and respectful manner.
What are your experiences of the creative, adventurous side of men?